Prins Heerlijk - Tilburg
Apprenticeships retail in retirement homes
In the Netherlands, approximately 250,000 young people receive a social assistance benefit under the Disablement Assistance Act. This represents 2% of the potential workforce aged between 15 and 65. Because of learning difficulties or intellectual disabilities, young disabled persons can’t always keep up with the pace of regular Vocational Education and Training programmes. This prevents them from autonomously obtaining an initial labour qualification. In practice however, many of these young disabled persons certainly turn out to be capable of working and learning, provided that it takes place in a small-scale, safe and highly practical environment. On the other hand, because of government cuts, elderly people are increasingly forced to continue to live independently, which results in a growing demand for availability of daily groceries in the neighbourhood.
Prins Heerlijk now wants to kill two birds with one stone by operating a grocery shop (including delivery services) in service centres for the elderly, where young people can work under supervision. If this pilot is successful, the concept can be scaled up. For many years now, Prins Heerlijk has been offering guided on-the-job training to young people with poor prospects on the job market, either in their own facilities (catering, shop and care for the elderly) or with regular employers. The objective is to create opportunities for these young people to obtain an initial qualification for the labour market (at their own level and pace) and to guide them into finding a job.
Prins Heerlijk’s individual apprenticeship plans are aimed at stimulating and motivating the participants. Learning how to deal with one’s own impairment in order to achieve personal fulfilment, self-reliance and social inclusion, is an integral part of each and every plan.